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Concert Archive

Kinan Azmeh + Aizuri Quartet

Thursday, May 31

World Cafe Live: 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Grammy-winning Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet come together for a concert spanning classical, jazz and Arabic musical languages.

The collaboration draws on the artists’ inventive and thought-provoking approaches to music-making. The concert will feature works by Armenian priest Komitas Vartaped and contemporary composers Lembit Beecher and Yevgeniy Sharlat; the world premiere of a suite of micro-commissions by Pauchi Sasaki, Michi Wiancko, Wang Lu and Can Bilir; and a new arrangement of Kinan Azmeh’s “The Fence, the Rooftop and the Distant Sea” for clarinet and string quartet.

Called “exciting and much-needed programming” (Artblog), our critically acclaimed LiveConnections Presents concert series features collaborative concerts that cross musical boundaries. We offer adventurous artist pairings, brand new commissions, socially engaged programs, and unique community participation.

$30 general admission
$20 students with ID
(prices include service fees)

About the Artists

Praised by the Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded First Prize at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and Third Prize at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past in which “every note is lovingly crafted and savored” (Washington Post). Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet is the 2017-2018 String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting five unique programs throughout the season. Previously the Quartet was the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and from 2014-2016, the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Paris, Dresden, Bremen, Salzburg and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, and Alyssa Weinberg. Formed in 2012, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. For more information visit aizuriquartet.com. [Image: Erica Lyn]

Hailed as a “virtuoso” and “intensely soulful” by The New York Times, “spellbinding” by The New Yorker with “incredibly rich sound” by the CBC, Kinan Azmeh’s utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as a clarinetist and composer. Kinan was recently named composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season. His compositions include works for solo, orchestra and chamber music, as well as film, live illustration and electronics. His discography includes three albums with his ensemble Hewar, several soundtracks for film and dance, a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. His is a frequent guest faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017. For more information visit www.kinanazmeh.com.